Now storming through cinemas worldwide after claiming the US box office crown last weekend, the World War II tank-crew thriller 'Fury' is an old-school war movie that attempts to update the genre with a more internalised approach to its characters.

The cast of 'Fury' on set
Brad Pitt has deep respect for the war veterans who inspired 'Fury'

"It's about a family and their love for each other," says writer-director David Ayer of the five-man crew played by Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena and Jon Bernthal. "We wanted to explore the moral and psychological hazards of war, and how they affect this family of brothers."

More: Read our review of 'Fury'

For his part, Pitt met several warzone veterans to understand the mindset of a soldier. "In talking to veterans, they painted a picture of exhaustion and mental fatigue as they faced hunger and cold on a daily basis," he says. "They endured all of this and then had to bring it home with them. We all walked away from this film absolutely wrenched." His admiration for veterans is obvious, and he took the three-month preparation time seriously, bonding with his co-stars in a special bootcamp while developing their characters' back-stories (little of which made it to the final cut).

More: Watch the trailer and featurette for 'Fury'

"We hope soldiers who see the film feel like they are respectfully represented," Pitt says. "War is hell. It's ludicrous. One year we can chop each other up, and the next we can share a pint together."

While Pitt was researching his role for 'Fury', Angelina Jolie was preparing her WWII drama 'Unbroken'. "My wife and I don't normally work at the same time - we alternate projects so one of us is with the kids, but these films were good for us," he says. "I was focussing on the war in Europe, while she was focussing on the the Pacific. My film is about stress, and hers is about the triumph of the human spirit. By the way, it's beautiful!"

More: Is 'Fury' too violent?
More: Watch the cast of 'Fury' arrive at the New York premiere